I like stories where no one is who they seem, probably because these stories reflect the nature of my own soul, of humanity. As Donald Miller writes in Blue Like Jazz, “The problem is not out there; the problem is the needy beast of a thing that lives in my chest.”
It is indeed a personal problem, widespread and universal. We struggle against it every day as we try to find truth in the details of our lives. Almost all art forms, throughout all of history, reflect this struggle.
But too often, modern novels that address human nature and the struggle for truth are not entertaining. Thought-provoking, perhaps. Disturbing. Entertaining and enjoyable? Rarely. And yet I would recommend MALICIOUS MASQUERADE to any beachcomber looking for a great mystery. This new release from Alan Cupp delivers page-turning suspense with topics like greed, lust, heartbreak, romance, murder and deceit.
Cupp’s writing style is smooth and engaging. His main character, Chicago PI Carter Mays, draws us in with an unassuming everyman demeanor. We first meet Carter at his desk, when a wealthy young woman named Cindy Bedford enters his office. We read that as Cindy “settled into the sage green upholstered chair, Carter stole a quick appreciative glimpse of her long, shapely legs. Catching himself, he immediately refocused on his prospective client’s purpose for being there.”
And what, exactly, is Cindy’s purpose for hiring a private investigator? To find the missing love-of-her-life, who just happens to be the man who jilted her at the altar on the same day someone stole millions of dollars from her father’s company.
Like most private investigators, Carter has a keen grasp on human complexity. In one particularly riveting scene, Carter studies the “faces and facts” he suspects might be involved in the disappearance of Cindy’s fiancé. Carter studies them so that “at least he would have some warning. Based on their records, Carter knew this was not just another case and things could get dangerous.”
Since the beginning of time, humans have put on masks of various kinds. Everyone has them, and most of life is about finding the real people behind our masks – the truth about ourselves and others. This search for truth, in both faces and facts, lies at the heart of MALICIOUS MASQUERADE.
It is a search that resonates with me on some deep level, wrapped into an exciting story that captivates.
For more information about Alan Cupp and his new release MALICIOUS MASQUERADE, click here.